Ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging
method that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce
images of structures within the body. The high-frequency
sound waves are concentrated into a thin beam and
directed into the body with a transducer, which is
a small hand-held
wand that the technologist uses to perform the examination.
The sound waves reflect off internal structures,
and the returning echoes are received by the transducer
and then processed by a computer to produce real-time
moving images. Ultrasound is commonly used to evaluate
the abdominal and pelvic organs, breasts, thyroid
and testes, and well as blood flow in arteries and
What Should I Expect?
You will be positioned on an exam table and a clear gel will be applied
to your skin. The gel is used to eliminate air bubbles
between the transducer and your body, since the
waves travel very poorly through air. The transducer
is pressed against the skin and moved back and
forth to visualize the area of interest.
not use radiation and is thus a very safe imaging
technique. It is also painless, though you may
discomfort from the pressure applied to the transducer,
especially if you are required to have a full
bladder for your exam. The examination usually takes
15 to 30 minutes, after which you will be able
to return to your normal activities.
How Should I Prepare?
In most cases, no preparation is necessary for an ultrasound. Should
involve the abdomen or pelvis, you may be instructed
not to eat or drink for 12 hours before your
test. You may also be asked to drink several glasses
of water 2 hours before your test and to avoid urinating,
that your bladder is full during the exam. You
wear comfortable loose-fitting clothing, and
may be asked to change into a hospital gown.
How Do I Get the Results?
After your study is over, a radiologist will review and evaluate your
exam. Both a preliminary and final report will be
sent to your doctor, who can then discuss the results
with you in detail. Often, for more immediate situations,
our radiologists will speak directly with your
physician to discuss the result of the imaging
At any time before or after your procedure,
our radiologists are happy to
one-on-one consultations with you.